Second-grade teachers at Horizon Elementary are being accosted by students who want to know if they have checked the mail.

Second-grade teachers at Horizon Elementary are being accosted by students who want to know if they have checked the mail.

Emily Potter, who teaches one of the four second-grade classes, said educators at her grade level started a "Flat Stanley" project at the beginning of January.

It began when she and the other second-grade teachers read to students the book about the flattened boy who travels the world.

At the beginning of the calendar year, she said, she and the second-grade teachers, including Tiffany Gross, who is now on maternity leave, with Lynne Stratton in her place; Denise Estep and job-sharing partners Lynn Baker and Melissa Tackett, requested that parents provide them with addresses of friends or family members who might be inclined to write back.

The students made "Flat Friends," which are images of themselves.

Some classes used fabric to dress their Flat Friends, but Potter's students used construction paper and yarn for the hair.

"If I have a student and his name is Jimmy," she said, "then his friend is named Flat Jimmy."

The Flat Friends were sealed in an envelope with a standard letter asking the recipient to give them a tour of their town and return them with photographs, maps and brochures.

Second-grade students are studying geography and culture. The project is tied into the curriculum, according to Potter.

She has 23 students in her class, but there are about 100 second-grade students participating in the event.

"We have received three or four big boxes full of things," Potter said of her class. "One of the friends of a student sent a binder full of pictures, brochures and maps."

Deb Gardner, an employee at Horizon, said the students are excited about all of the boxes coming into the building.

The hallway at Horizon contains maps of Ohio, the United States and the world.

A Flat Friend was sent to Jamaica and another to England, but students have not heard back from those travelers.

Another second-grade class had Flat Friends returning from Japan and Canada.

"One of my students sent Flat Friend to their grandparents, who live in Colorado," said Potter. "They were going on vacation to Florida, so they took pictures of the Flat Friend with the pilot in the cockpit."

"If a student didn't have an address, I helped them out," Potter said. "I have another brother in Cleveland, so one of my students sent a Flat Friend to him. That way, everyone would be able to send one away." Now it is a matter of having them all returned.